Third grade was a banner year for me.
I learned how to walk my hands all the way down the brick wall on the side of the school until I ended up in a back bend.
I won the contest for walking the farthest around the edge of the playground while hula hooping.
I came in second in the school multiplication bee (total aside: I lost on 12 x 13).
No one ate paste in our class anymore.
And I discovered how to paint-by-number.
Painting by number was almost like a miracle.
You opened the package and there was a blank canvas full of circles and squiggles with numbers on them. It came with a set of paints with correlating numbers and all you had to do was match the numbers up with the paint colors and start painting and before you knew it all of those lines and zigs and zags….
….became a horse.
You couldn’t mess it up.
Well….except if you got tired of all the highlights and the 15,000 shades of brown on the horse and you just added some eyes and painted the horse face one color brown and the sky blue and called it a day.
But that is not even the point of this whole analogy. The point is….you had an outline and a formula and a strategy.
And if you just stuck to the plan….
…..you ended up with art every time.
It’s just like adding trays to your decor.
It’s easy, if you know where you are going.
So today we’re going to paint-by-number it…..
…..with four simple tips for decorating with trays.
(total aside: just in case you were wondering, these random pictures have one thing in common….they have a tray meant to inspire you).
1. Start with a tray
Now….don’t let the word tray define you.
Think outside the tray box.
A tray could be a basket or over-sized white platter or cutting board or sometimes it could actually mean tray.
The point is that you want to start with a flat surface with raised edges.
Step 2: Add height
Start with your tallest item first.
Here….I used a wire cloche. You could also begin with an armillary or pedestal with a pumpkin or a globe or wreath on a stand.
You get it.
You understand (because you are brilliant like that).
This is like the part of the paint-by-number with the most paint.
I know….this random driftwood ball…while totally amazing and full of texture…..is not rolling around everyone’s house.
This is an over-exaggerated example of texture.
Instead, you could add in branches or wood with a beautiful patina or wicker or metal.
When you add texture, it’s like adding character.
Texture is just like the highlights and lowlights of the paint-by-number.
(total aside: please tell me you love this analogy as much as I do).
This is the icing on the cake.
You want to either add a piece with space (like this armillary) or simply add space around your arrangement.
If you added a large bulky piece to this tray, it would overwhelm the vignette on the table.
Allowing for a little light and airiness with the display….lets your decorations blend in seamlessly with their environment.
This is just like the white space that provides definition in the paint-by-number.
It’s been a while since I tried a back bend.
Or hula hooped around the playground.
But adding fun displays to my coffee table by decorating with trays….
…I got this.
Oh….and 12 x 13 is 156. 🙂
PS In case you haven’t gotten a chance to stop by….my Joss and Main event is live.
Wait until you see all the farmhouse pieces (even the chandelier from my kitchen).
Click here to see the sale.
And now….I’m so happy to be joining some of my favorite bloggers sharing their tray decorating tips today.
For more inspiration be sure and check out the links below: